Baseball’s Rule Change Proposals For 2021
We see a steady eroding of baseball’s popularity. The players, rules and the game itself have been changing for the worse. Major League Baseball keeps tinkering to “improve” the game and experience. No blocking home plate. A runner placed on second base to begin extra innings. No take-out slides. A limit of six mound visits to pitchers by catchers per nine innings. Relief pitchers facing a minimum of three batters. Double-header games that are only seven innings long. 28 player rosters. Video challenges. Protective netting running down the base lines. Expanded playoffs.
How many of these changes make baseball a better game?
Here are the MLB rule change proposals for 2021:
1. To decrease the number of pitching injuries all pitchers who have not previously undergone Tommy John surgery in the past will have preemptive Tommy John surgery.
2. Similar to no longer having to throw four pitches to issue an intentional walk, MLB will be trying out the “intentional strikeout.” This gives the opposing team’s manager a valuable tool he can use ten times in a game. The unsuspecting player will stroll up to the plate, but before a pitch is thrown the opposing manager can indicate an intentional strikeout by holding up three fingers thus saving the pitcher’s arm, batter’s energy and spectators time in what would have probably been a strikeout anyway.
3. Three innings will now be recorded as a quality start. Bonus rule: you do not have to be the starting pitcher to achieve this.
4. Home plate umpires will be given special goggles that super-impose a strike zone box over the plate. The official baseball rule book defines the strike zone as:
“that area over home plate the upper limit of which is a horizontal line at the midpoint between the top of the shoulders and the top of the uniform pants, and the lower level is a line at the bottom of the knees. The strike zone shall be determined from the batter’s stance as the batter is prepared to swing at a pitched ball.”
In other words a strike is supposed to be a ball that crosses over the plate and between the batter’s armpits and knees,
The umpires goggles however will show the same static superimposed strike zone box as viewers see on their television sets. Yes, those TV boxes which appear to go from only the waist to the knees. It will not matter if the batter is the five foot six Jose Altuve or six foot seven Aaron Judge. The goggle strike zone will have the exact same inaccurate dimensions as the viewer at home sees and pitches will be called accordingly.
5. In the quest for more security from stealing signs and lip-reading, when pitchers catchers, coaches and managers meet for a mound visit, they will utilize a cone of silence, similar to one used in the 1960s Get Smart television show.
An assistant will carry the cones out to the players and coaches congregating on the mound. Participants conversing will put their plexiglass circular sphere over their head connecting to other participants. There will only be a small delay of three to five minutes to set up each mound conference. The only difference from the TV version of Get Smart’s Cone of Silence will be that these cones will be completely opaque. This will eliminate the need for all involved to obscure their mouths while speaking to one another. This will keep their top secret pitching plans being deciphered by National Association of the Deaf members or the Astros.
Offense & Personnel Proposals
6. In 2021, the National League will adopt the Designated Hitter but not in every game. To satisfy traditionalists the pitchers will all get to bat in one game per week every Sunday. That game will be called be “the weekly no hitter game.” Both starting line-ups will be solely of pitchers. Only pitchers can take the field at the other regular positions. Not until after the ninth inning may a non-pitcher enter a game. To discourage managers inserting regular position players, substitutes who are not pitchers must come to the plate using whiffle ball bats.
7. The surge of analytics-driven data will now determine a batter’s status before coming to the plate. In 2021 a computer simulation of the whole season will take place before April 1. If the computer model analytics show that a player has a greater than 50% chance of a particular outcome the player will not have to step into the batters box.
The manager of either team can call out “analytics result” to the umpire. The manager can use this strategy only once per game. The outcome will be credited to the player and he will be awarded a home run or strike out or whatever the analytics result is.
8. For extra inning games in 2021, MLB is suggesting that instead of placing a runner on second base at the beginning of each extra inning a runner should be stationed exactly 15 feet from home plate on the third base line. At the start of the extra inning the umpire will yell, “Go!” The runner must try to score. The pitcher will hurl the ball to home. The batter may at his discretion swing at the ball possibly removing the approaching runner’s head. These should be exciting plays.
9. In another move to bolster excitement a new annual award will be given. Though some old–fashioned fans call it unsportsmanlike conduct, batters will be encouraged to flip their bats as far as possible after hitting a home run or any long fly ball mistakenly thought to be a home run. The player who flips the bat the furthest during the regular season will receive the trophy seen to the right– The Flipper Award.
10. To increase diversity each team must have at least one Ivy League graduate on the roster. For balance, every team will have one player who has no higher than an eighth grade education.
11. If fans are allowed to return to stadiums in 2021, making the stadium experience more engaging will be a priority. Baseball’s partnership with gambling sites will be expanded to in-person participation. Every fan entering the ballpark will pay a gambling device fee which will be connected to the fan’s bank account. Every fan (over the age of six) will then be required to wager a minimum of $100 during the ball game. They can bet on any aspect of the game they choose. Not just who will win the game or how many hits a player will get. Will Joey Gallo strike out five times or only four? Will Kenley Jansen take 30 or 40 seconds between pitches? How many times will a player spit while standing in the batters box? The possibilities are endless. We should all be grateful to MLB for forming partnerships with enterprises that encourage future generations to squander away money.
If these rules seem ridiculous to you, think about the rules that have been recently instituted.
MLB, please stop trying to improve baseball.